Are you Alice? - Alice the Gibberish! 2

Are you Alice? - Alice the Gibberish! 2

Company: IM Label
Based on: Original
Released: 2009.05.20
Official Site: http://imlabel.jp/alice/

In Are you Alice a male Alice wanders into wonderland and is subsequently involved in 'the game to kill the white rabbit'. Alice his story is told in three drama CDs - Drink me, Check Mate, and Call me- but there are several expansions to the story. This is a collection of CMs with Alice and the Hatter talking complete nonsense in between.

This time the Mad Hatter opens the skits with incredible tension (and referencing Star Wars just like they did in the first Alice the Gibberish). Just like the first time, this is a collection of CMs, and Alice and the Hatter commenting on them in between.

A large part of the CMs are in the shape of the fictional radio show "Alice no Heya". Hearing all of them together is kind of fun, especially because they get more and more random each time.

This time the CMs go all the way up to the unbirthday scraps and character singles, they don't realy mention any of the content, but just to be on the safe side it might be better if you've listened to all of them before listening to this.

To be short, this is just more of the same, but that definitely isn't a bad thing here. Randomness and hilarity are guaranteed again so go and listen if you know the series.


Shuukan Soine CD Vol.7 - Sei

週刊添い寝CDシリーズ vol.07 誠

Company: Back Butterfly
Based on: Original
Released: 2011.11.18
Official Site: http://www.blackbutterfly-cd.com/short/

Shuukan Soine is a CD in which your boyfriend cuddles next to you and talks with you until you fall asleep. Vol.7 ~ 12 will be a new batch of weekly releases, and this one starts it off.

Your boyfriend this time is Sei (CV: Kuroda Takaya), the 35 year old owner of a bar. As you can see by the age (and probably also guessed by the cover) Sei is a bit older than most of the boyfriends before this.

The CD starts when Sei just got home late from work, and you are still awake. Sei notices there is something different about you, but you don't want to say what. Because you can't fall asleep he comes with the idea to read you a story, and you get up to grab a picture book that you just so happened to have. The story is about a prince who has lost the ability to love someone.

Afterwards the conversation returns to what was bothering before; that Sei never puts his feelings into words. You get up to get another book you have: "sweet things you want your boyfriend to say to you". Surprisingly though, Sei agrees to read a few of the lines from the book, leading to a pure overkill in sweet lines.

Sei is obviously a bit older than previous boyfriends. You've also been together for quite some years now, which shows in his attitude. I find him strangely cute though. He usually has the situation in hand, but when you pout he is suddenly willing to do all kinds of things for you. I liked the way he feels and acts comfortable around you.

The scene where he reads all those sweet lines is my absolute favourite. When he starts they are noticeably just read aloud from the book, but the more he progresses the more the words become his own. It also makes me giggly, that many sweet lines at once would make everyone shy. But his reading of the picture book is very very good as well, the way he uses his voice there, I simply melt.

There is just one thing I don't like about Sei: He smokes. While sitting beside me on the bed. Noooooo, I hate the smell of cigarettes...

The free talk is hilarious. It begins with Kuroda-san saying that this was his first time working with the Dummy Head mic and that the mic really is just a head "which means there is [no body and thus] no butt, which he loves so much" xD And after a while the story completely shifts to him talking about Saizeriya (サイゼリヤ, a restaurant chain), and one of the dishes on their menu (more specifically, I think he is talking about their mixed grill). And every time he mentions the name of the restaurant or the name of the dish they have to censor him xD 

I think this was a great way to start this new batch of Shuukan Soine CDs. Sei is easily likeable and the way he handles the 'not putting his love into words' issue is really sweet. I wish he would quit smoking though (god, that makes it sound like I'm talking about an actual person). 

Saizeriya... I want to go and eat there again. Or any famires for that matter...


Hoka Hoka Tsundere Onsen


Company: Fluffy Bunny
Based on: Original
Released: 2011.08.25

In Hoka Hoka Tsundere Onsen your boyfriend takes you on a midweek trip to an onsen. From the journey in the train to arriving at the ryokan, to buying souvenirs, and the actual onsen visit, everything is there. And of course, as the title implies your boyfriend is a tsundere.

The CD starts while you are in the train. Your boyfriend (CV: Takahashi Hiroki) got a chance to take a few days off so the two of you go on a midweek onsen trip. He manages to use the tsundere catchphrase 'kanchigai shinaide yo' (don't misunderstand me/ don't get me wrong) within one minute. Bonus points for that one xD

Each track of the CD depicts a different scene in our trip; arriving at the hotel, sight seeing, buying souvenirs, dinner, the onsen, and when you go to bed, to finally the day after when you ride the train back home. Each scene by itself is pretty short, but surprisingly it doesn't feel that way and the overall pace is very good.

Even though the title implies that your boyfriend is a tsundere, I don't think it is that obvious. In the beginning he is a bit tsun, and towards the end more dere (I guess they intended it that way) but to what extend he really is a tsundere, I'm not sure. But maybe that is also because the things that he feels embarrassed about are things I'd be embarrassed about myself as well. Maybe someone who is more of an tsundere expert can enlighten me about this.

There were two tracks that made me laugh. The first one is the 'bathing track'. Besides the fact that he is obviously embarrassed to get undressed in front of you. Something is going 'pyon'. I have no idea what but my imagination got the better of me. And the bedtime track. That one sentence... hahahaha (>///<). Although all I thought is "you'd better be gentle indeed".

I have only one minor issue with this CD, and that is that I don't think the cover and Takahashi-san his voice match. Don't get me wrong, he is a really sweet boyfriend and I like his voice, but I don't think it matches the character on the cover.

This is a mostly sweet CD, only towards the end it gets a bit more... eroi. To what extend it really is tsundere I'm not sure, but it was nice to listen to. I hope they'll make more vacation trip CDs like this.


Romeo and Juliet


Company: Momo&Grapes
Based on: Romeo and Julliet
Released: 2010.03.25

Like the title implies, this is Romeo and Juliet. The catch here is that it is part of Momo&Grapes their Men's Only series, meaning that all characters are voiced by male seiyuu.

In all honesty, the fact that it is done by Momo&Grapes and that it is part of the Men's Only series is the only reason I listened to this. I have no love for the story of Romeo and Juliet.

*cough* back to reviewing. The story is completely faithful to the original. Romeo (CV: Ishida Akira) sneaks into the Capulet masked ball together with Benvolio (CV: Naruse Makoto) and Mercutio (CV: Suganuma Hisayoshi) where he meets Juliet (CV: Kamiya Horoshi) who kisses Romeo in order to chase away her suitor count Paris (CV: Masuda Takayuki) and Romeo and Juliet fall in love. With the help of Juliet her wetnurse (CV: Kusonoki Taiten) and the friar Laurence (CV: Takemoto Eiji) they get married. However Tybalt (CV: Ishikawa Hideo) got hold of the news that Romeo sneaked into the Capulet ball and wants to duel Romeo, who doesn't want to, Mecutio gets killed in the end, Romeo is exiled, meanwhile Juliet is engaged to Paris against her will, and in order to escape the marriage feigns her death, and so we reach the well known tragic end of this story.

I am sorry for my sloppy summary of this classic piece of literature.

This is a bit hard to review, because I don't like the Romeo and Juliet story in general so I'll try to focus on other things instead. Like or don't like though, Kamiya his Juliet was very cute. It makes you want to hug him. I had more problems with Ishida his Romeo, but I finally settled on the fact that a voice actor that I don't particular like voiced a role that I dislike, so that it all matches. (I am sorry, Ishida-san is brilliant at times, but I'm not very fond of his voice). Interestingly enough, Kamiya-san apparently thought of Ishida-san as the ideal Romeo (He says so in the tokuten CD).

Actually, I personally found the cast talk and tokuten talk the most interesting tracks on this CD xD Almost everyone has an interesting comment (Ishikawa Hideo his final remark was the best xD). The rest of the cast going "kawaii! kawaii!" while Kamiya-san was talking, or "Romeo-samaaaa!" when Ishida-san starts talking was just too cute. In the tokuten talk CD Kamiya-san mostly says how worried and nervous he was about his role as Juliet, while Ishida-san just goes "I wasn't worried at all [about my own part]" xD

Something interesting that I already though of and that was also mentioned in the cast talk, was that in the time on Shakespeare plays were performed with only male actors. So to some extend this drama CD is actually really close to the original play.

This is, I think, actually a good drama CD. I just don't like the story and I can't get over that no matter what. I'm sorry. But if you like the Men's Only series it is worth a listen, and if you like the Romeo and Juliet story it is probably a must.


Oujisama (warai) series: Oujisama to Ningyo-hime no Koi

王子様 (笑)シリーズ  ドラマCD 第5巻 ~王子様と人魚の恋~

Company: Frontier Works
Based on: The Little Mermaid
Released: 2011.10.26
Official Site: http://www.fwinc.co.jp/princewww

The Oujisama (warai) series re-imagines various well known fairytales. This time 'the Little Mermaid' is completely changed. The focus is on the prince instead of the princess though, and as the 'warai' (laughter) in the title implies the story gains a lot of humour.

Several character from previous entries to the series make their appearance here as well: Cinderella her prince (CV: Suzumura Kenichi), Snow White her Prince (CV: Nakai Kazuya), and Hikaru Genji (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki) are visiting Frederick (the main character this time; CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki) because he is scheduled to marry the next day. On the way there Genji saves/picks up an unknown girl and her servant (CV: Takemoto Eiji) who wants to stop the marriage and marry the prince instead.

Frederick first complains about his life not being dramatic enough because his marriage is political, and that he wants to have a fateful encounter with someone so that he can fall in love and blow of the marriage. But when Genji brings in the unknown girl (who is obviously the little mermaid, they even named her 'Little') he claims he doesn't remember her and is not interested in marrying her at all.

Most of the CD is Frederick arguing with the servant (who speaks instead of 'princess Little') and the other three just generally make comments on the conversation and argue among themselves. But with everyone their weird personalities (Cinderella loves weapons a bit too much, Genji is an incredible player) that is exactly what makes this CD so hilarious.

Speaking of that, there is just too much hilarity in this CD. Cinderella and Snow White discovering that they are relatives, Genji constantly trying to win princess Little for himself, Frederick his obsession with sweets, the fact that Little is actually an incredible stalker, the references to earlier entries to the series xD Not to mention Cinderella and Snow White their constant tsukkomi and occasional breaking of the fourth wall alone is already hilarious. (they actually mention that this is a drama series a couple of time xD)

What I truly loved was how they managed to give the story a serious turn despite the fact that it is a complete parody. Of course, right after you feel the effect of the serious turn they go completely hilarious again xD

After the main story there is a zadankai as always. The fourth wall is completely torn down here xD Cinderella and Snow White explain the idea behind the series to Frederick and decide on a nickname for him as well (and thus, he is called 'Ningyo' (Mermaid) afterwards). Frederick also has a passionate rant against blood-type horoscopes (which is, given the popularity of those in Japan, rather hilarious)

I only realized after listening to this how much the style of these CDs has changed. The first two entries had sepparate stories for each prince, which were a sort of mix between  reading the story to you and acting out part of it. From vol.3 on the cast from the first two entries appears along side of a new character allowing for lots of references and hilarious conversations between the characters. (This, btw, also places all of the fairytales in one world, as if each one takes place in a different country located on one large fairytale continent). Also, Frederick/Mermaid is the 9th character already... (o.O) It feels like the cast from the first two CDs is more popular though (especially Snow White and Genji)

You're missing out on a lot if you don't know at least the first two CDs of the rest of the series (3 and 4 aren't referenced that much) but if you do know those then you should definitely listen to it. This is my favourite entry to the series so far, and one of my absolute favourite drama CDs of all time. Also, I think the cover art is gorgeous.


Weekly News Post

Diabolik Lovers
A new drama CD series has arrived. Diabolik Lovers Kyuuketsuki Do-S CD is a series all about sadistic vampires who are out for your blood (and probably also fall in love with you). This also more of a multimedia project, as the CDs will be accompanied by a NicoNico Live broadcast show and a game by otomate.

Because your father has to go out of the country for his work for a while you somehow end up living in with 6 brothers that visit the same high school as you do. The 6 of them are so pretty the entire town talks about them, but they also have incredibly bad personalities and to top it all they turn out to be vampires!

From left too right we have the oldest son Shuu (CV: Toriumi Kousuke), who is described as "a apathetic music loving aristocrat". The second son Reiji (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki), who talks polite but insulting. The triplets Ayato (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru), Kanato (CV: Kaji Yuuki) and Raito (CV: Hirakawa Daisuke). And the rather violent Subaru (CV: Kondo Takeshi). Click here to see a larger version.

The release order is a bit of a mystery to me, but the first CD to be released is the one for Ayato, on 2011.12.21, and next up are Subaru (2012.01.25), Kanato (2012.02.22), Raito (2012.03.21), Reiji (2012.04.25) and finally Shuu (2012.05.23). A tokuten for those who buy all 6 CD's will also be published, but they have yet to announce what it will be.

Tap Trap Love
This was announced at 5pb their live event last week. Not much info about it yet, except that the series has 'Tap Dancing' as it's theme and that is uses the dummy head mic, and a list of seiyuu: Maeno Tomoaki, Kamiya Hiroshi, Nakai Kazuya, Itou Kentarou, Fujiwara Yuuki, Shimazaki Nobunaga, and Ishida Akira,

I'm curious about this, I don't know how one combines dancing and a drama CD but I've seen stranger things, and the dummy head mic is always love. Moreover, I'm kind of happy to see two unfamiliar names. Fujiwara Yuuki and Shimazaki Nobunaga are two names I'm unfamiliar with, and I'm curious about them. The series is planned for February 2012.


Are you Alice? - Alice the Gibberish

Are you Alice? - Alice the Gibberish

Company: IM Label
Based on: Original
Official Site: http://imlabel.jp/alice/

In Are you Alice a male Alice wanders into wonderland and is subsequently involved in 'the game to kill the white rabbit'. Alice his story is told in three drama CDs - Drink me, Check Mate, and Call me- but there are several expansions to the story. This is a collection of CMs with Alice and the Hatter talking complete nonsense in between.

Mostly these are short skits between Alice and the Hatter. At times they actually comment on the CMs, but other times what they talk about has nothing to do with the CMs. Hilariously enough, the CMs themselves become less and less serious as well, sometimes making you wonder what was a CM and what wasn't xD  (the ones where they state a release date are CMs)

Keeping in mind that all of these are just shorts skits, this is written really well. Just be prepared to hear the title theme a couple or dozen times (there are 36 tracks, and about half of them are CMs). This covers all the CMs up to Alice no Tea Party Phase 3, so it is best if you've heard all of the works released up to that point (Drink me, Check Mate, Call me, Tea Party Phase 1 - 3) because they tend to mention some spoilers as if it doesn't matter, but if you've heard at least the first three you should be fine.

Track 35 is one of my personal favourites, it's actually a mistake, and then when they try it again they succeed but you can still hear them laugh afterwards.

Randomness and hilarity guaranteed, this is one of the best collections of short skits ever.

If you know the series this is fun to listen to. Both for the CMs and the short skits. If you don't know the series go listen to it first and then listen to this.


Tales of Symphonia: Rodeo Ride Tour vol.2

テイルズ オブ シンフォニア 〜ロデオライド・ツアー〜  下巻

Company: Frontierworks
Based on: Game
Released: 2005.06.24

Rodeo Ride Tour is a story that takes place after the events of Tales of Symphonia, and centres on Sheena (CV: Okamura Akemi) and Zelos (CV: Onosaka Masaya). Due to Zelos his life possibly being in danger because he has become the taget of a terrorist organisation, the two of them travel around the world to avoid danger and possibly draw out the attackers.

Due to this story taking place after the events of Tales of Symphonia, it is of course best if you know the entire story before listening to this. There are also a few scenes from near the ending of the game (making me remember all of it and feel nostalgic).

This time the tracks are more related than in the first CD. The first track is about Zelos and Sheena saving a few girls that were about to be abducted and traded off (I forgot that Tales of isn't afraid of using themes like that) but the rest of the tracks are all related.

In the second and third track Zelos and Sheena visit Lloyd (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki) in Iselia. He is living there for a while with Colette (CV: Mizuki Nana) before they continue on their journey to collect exspheres, Colette is away for a few days though. The two spend the night at Lloyd his house, and Zelos teasingly reminds Sheena of the fact that she used to like Lloyd. When Sheena intends to stay a little longer however Zelos gets angry because they agreed to never stay longer than one night, and takes off on his own. Despite wanting to stay longer, Sheena does however follow him.

In the next three tracks Orochi tracks the two of them down to report thatthe terrorist organisation that was after Zelos his life has been dismantled and that there is no more need to travel around any more. Neither of them seems to be truly happy with the news though. However the story doesn't end there.

After Zelos has gone on ahead, Orochi tells Sheena that before being dismantled, a few members of the terrorist organisation escaped and kidnapped Seles, Zelos his younger sister. They threatened to kill her unless he would come alone to a specific place, and thus Zelos has gone after them. Zelos didn't want Sheena to know this, but now that she does know she of course goes after him.

The scenes with Lloyd were very interesting. It the game it is never explicitly said that Sheena likes Lloyd (though there are enough hints) so this was the first time that I really heard it confirmed. I liked the way they handled it though. It is clear that Sheena still likes Lloyd a bit but has already given up on the idea.

Zelos gets his moments in the spotlights when he goes to save Seles. Somehow he always gets a few good lines somewhere near the end. Although Sheena was the one to save the day. The end was very good as well, the final track starts exactly the same as when Zelos came to Mizuho in the first CD. However, this time when Sheena asks what he came to do he simply answers "I came to see you face". It looks like he became a little more honest ;)

The bonus track has Konishi-san hosting the radio show 'Tales Ring' one more time (they revived it for one more episode) with Onosaka-san and Okamura-san as guests. They tease him a bit about the fact that he wasn't in the first CD, to which he replies that 'he doesn't care because he got his part in the second half of the story'. They all together joke about Lloyd being mean because he is so nice to Sheena, not knowing how she felt xD

Just like before this is a Sheena x Zelos festival, so only listen if you like/tolerate the pairing. I liked this CD a bit more than the first one, probably because the story was a bit more coherent. The scene with Sheena and Zelos in the rain from the first CD is still my favourite scene from this story though.


Kakumei no Hi


Company: Fairy Co. Ltd
Based on: Manga
Released: 2001.07.28

Kakumei no Hi (the day of the revolution) is a drama CD based on the manga of the same name by Tsuda Mikiyo. The protagonist of the story is Yoshikawa Kei (CV: Takeuchi Junko), who after having lived 18years as a man discovers that he is genetically a woman. Kei decides to surgically become a woman and live as a she from now on.

But that is of course harder than it seems, and Kei (now called Megumi) still acting and talking as a guy doesn't make things easier. Nor does the fact that he still goes to the same high school (although he starts as a first year again) which means running into his old friends. Who recognise him, and to make things more complicated, fall in love with him.

The story mostly centres on Kei coming to terms with the fact that he is female now, and his friends trying to pursue him. Toba Shuji (CV: Suzuki Chihiro), Tachimachi Tadashi (CV: Hasebe Kouichi), Shinmei Kazutoshi (CV: Chiba Susumu) and former classmate but now student council president Kawata Hiroaki (CV: Takemoto Eiji) all want to go out with Kei/Megumi, and they are rather forceful about it. Luckily Kei has Yutaka Makoto (CV: Takimoto Fujiko) who is there to help him have like a proper girl, however she is also trying to get Kei to date with one of his friends (because she believes that that would be easier than getting Kei to date a total stranger).

The story is pretty funny. The whole gender change isn't treated to series, as the main focus is just Kei his/her inability to act as a girl and his former friends falling in love with him. her. This is confusing. I read the manga a long time ago, and I think it follows the manga very acurately, although personally I find the manga better simply because of the hilarious visuals.

Takeuchi Junko her Kei/Megumi is really good. She perfectly captures the bratty Kei, and later Megumi who still acts and talks like a guy, but she can also sound extremely cute. The rest of the characters are ok but not really special. Makoto her bossing people around but being super protective of Kei is somehow endearing too.

The last track is a short side story about how Kawata came to hang out with the rest of Kei his friends. It turns out that when Kei was hospitalized (and left school without a word to his friends) they were all worries about Kei and their mutual interest in finding out what happened to him brought them together (to the extent that they backed Kawata his ambition to become student council president so that he could obtain more info on where Kei went from the shadows xD)

It is a pretty funny story, but I like the manga better because you've got the visuals of tomboyish Kei.Megumi acting silly. There is a second drama CD for the second vol. of the manga though, and I'm actually a little curious on how that is (because the story develops just a tiny bit more)




Company: Omega Label
Based on: Manga
Released: 2010.07.02

Uemura Takitarou is a fairly normal high schooler, except that he is also a genius cosplayer that can transform himself into almost anyone. When one day his one and only friend Kusakami Asami (CV: Koshimizu Ami) is killed by the 'Night Blindness Man', a serial killer who gouges out the eyes of his victims, he is recruited by his schoolmate Tominaga Hana to join the UC, a company that manipulates rumours and urban legends to solve crimes.

UC, also called 'Uwasaya' (the rumour shop) has only a few employees: the mysterious company president Saekusa Kudan (CV: Fujiwara Keiji), the hacker Kurusu Masutatsu (codename 'channeler'. CV: Hino Satoshi), the fortune teller Koizumi Nao (codename: Sleepless diviner. CV: Matsuoka Yuki), model Tominaga Hana (codename: debate magician. CV: Tanaka Rie).

This drama CD has three cases, of which the first one is the Night Blindness Man. To draw out the killer they decide to spread another rumour: the ghost of the killers latest victim is walking the streets asking people to giver her eyes back. Takitarou dresses up as the ghost so that people really see her, and so they draw out the actual killer.

In the second case UC is asked to spread a scary rumour about a horror video game so that the sales will go up. Takitarou decides to dress up as 'the woman in red', one of the characters from the game. However it turns out that someone has already been dressing up like her, because everyone Takitarou tries to scare with his outfit has already seen the woman in red. And then Takitarou sees the ghost woman for himself...

In the final case UC gets a job by phone from an unknown customer, who asks them to put an end to the killing of crows that appears to be occurring all over town. With the help of channeler his hacking skills they manage to find the culprit, but their client turns out to be someone unexpected as well...

I expected this to be only based on the whole rumour/urban legend concept, but in case two and three supernatural events also occur. Meaning horror, meaning one scared me. The sound effects are particularly effective. And the sound of crows has always been rather eerie, but in this story even more so, and I will never look at crows in the same way again.

All three are good short stories though, even though the second one is so very sad. The first one is more like an introduction, and the second one also has a glimpse of Nao her past in it, which leaves the third story as the best one in my opinion. I'm just sad that I can't see what Takitarou dresses up like, haha.

This had a bit more supernatural events than I expected (if I had know that I would have reviewed this for Halloween as well...) but it was still a very good CD. Just a lot scarier than I expected. I'd love to hear more, and I know that there was also a radio drama for the series, but until I find that I suppose the manga will have to do.


Warumono (warai) series: Okami ha tsurai yo

 わるもの(笑)シリーズ 狼はつらいよ

Company: Frontierworks
Based on: Fairytales
Released: 2011.10.26
Official Site: http://www.fwinc.co.jp/www/

After the Oujisama (warai) and Meisaku Bungaku (warai) series we now also have the Warumono (warai) series. This time the so called 'bad guys' are in the spotlight, and this is the second vol. which centres on the (big bad) wolf. First things first though: the jacket illustration!! *drools*  I'm sorry, I'll get back to reviewing...

What if the Wolf from Red Riding Hood, the 7 little Goats, and the Three Little Piggies was the same wolf?? That is the concept behind this CD. We start with the wolf (CV: Shimono Hiro), who is writing a letter to his mama mother about how well he is managing living on his own, only to break down crying saying that he hasn't managed to catch a single thing. Just at that moment Red Riding Hood (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki) passes by. With a basket full of ingredients to make curry, and carrying a stun gun. And to top things off, Red Riding Hood is a HE.

After getting into a lot of trouble with Red Riding Hood the wolf sees Mother Goat leave her 7little kids behind to go shopping. And thus he tries to get in the house. The door is opened by one of the little goats (CV: Yasumoto Hiroki) and... no words can describe his. Picturing a little goat with that voice, it just doesn't work xD  Anyway, they eventually decide to play hide and seek, with the added difficulty that the entire house turns into a ninja-trapdoor-and-hidden-mechanic-mansion.

After turning completely vegetarian for a while after the that the wolf decides to eat the three little (gourmet) piggies. So he makes a phone call whether he can arrange an interview with them but the three of them have their own plans with the wolf as well... He first arrives at the house of the oldest (CV: Yasumoto Hiroki) where he is burried in herbs, then he arrives at the house of the second (CV: Yasumura Makoto) where they try to turn him into smoked wolf, and after surviving all that he arrives at the house of the youngest one (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki) where they confess they wanted to try and cook him xD

As expected from the warai series, the stories are brilliantly transformed into something hilarious. Red Riding Hood being a male (delinquent), the much too mature sounding little goat, and the three little piggies trying too eat the wolf instead of the other way around. All of them were brilliant. Also, was that a Tiger and Bunny reference in the last story???

I loved Shimono-san his wolf. So cute. And no wonder he can't catch a thing if he gets distracted by how cute a rabbit is when it is hopping around xD Yasumoto-san his voice is to die for in any situation, and the three little piggies all just sound too sexy. I think I was going to say something insightful but I forgot.

The cast talk was ok. Shimono, Yasumoto and Yasumura are just fooling around and leave weird messages for Yoshino (who did his recording later). Although Yasumoto-san does talk a bit more serious about Yabu no Naka (which you really should listen to if you haven't yet!!).

The first vol. was already good, but I like this one even better! Although that might have something to do with Yasumoto-san his voice. I really really hope that they will make more entries to this series. (although I have no idea what kind of stories I'd like to hear).

Also, Shimono's wolf in no way matches the cover. But that is totally irrelevant as soon as I stare at the picture again.


Aroma na Kareshi vol.1: Lavender

アロマな彼氏 vol.1 ラベンダー

Company: Kanon Sound
Based on: Aroma
Released: 2011.10.21
Official Site: http://www.kanon-sound.co.jp/aroma_cd/

Aroma na Kareshi is a boyfriend who's personality is based of a certain scent, in this case lavender. The character, Fujimori Yuuichi, is described as 'sweet and healing/caring' (healing is the literal word, but it sounds a bit odd in English). The CD comes with a lavender scented card.

You are in your 3rd year of high school, which means cramming for entrance exams in Japan, and to help you with this your parents have hired a tutor for you. Fujimori Yuuichi (CV: Nojima Kenji) is a 2nd year student at the university you hope to go to.

You first meet near your house, while Fujimori is lost trying to find the right address (finding a specific address can be rather hard in Japan due to a weird numbering system). As he teaches you the two of you gradually become more friendly, and he even takes you to visit the campus to motivate you (and gives you a Christmas present! awww).

What I like about this CD is that there is no constant hinting. As it turns out, Fujimori even has a girlfriend in the beginning (though they break up just before Christmas) and you apparently liked someone else to start with as well. There are some hints, but there is no overload of sweet lines or obvious 'I like you but I'm too shy to say it' moments. And -this might sound a bit weird but- I think that suits the fragrance well, as lavender isn't a very romantic scent.

Which brings us to the fragrance-personality thing. Lavender is a light, somewhat sweet and relaxing scent. And I think they've managed to match that quite good actually. Fujimori has a cheerful, caring personality, and I can imagine he is easy to relax (and be yourself) around so as far as that goes I think it is pretty well matched. The story itself was light and sweet too, so I'd say it matches.

There are just a few points that felt odd about this CD. The first is that the conversation didn't seem really natural at times. Especially when Fujimore 'answers' to something you are saying. Of course you can hear only one side of the conversation, so I imagine it must be hard to write but it was still a little odd at times. The second is, where on earth are your parents? Yes I know, they would only be a hindrance, but you never even mention them (except in the end, when Fujimori comments on them being absent xD). And finally, I really miss my cast comment track (T-T)

The occasional odd conversation moment aside, this is a sweet CD that isn't full of hinting for a change. It's pretty short, only 25min, but doesn't feel that short at all. If you're going to listen to it I really recommend burning some lavender oil or placing something lavender scented (like the scent card included with the CD) nearby, it adds just a little extra to the experience.


Weekly News Post

To start with some non drama CD news: I officially have a tumblr now. It's over here. Of course drama CD's are heavily featured, but there is also other stuff that interests me. Just keep in mind that, while this blog and the tumblr are somewhat related, this blog is for proper reviews while the tumblr is for random remarks and incoherent posts.

Oujisma (warai) series
Both Oujisama (warai) Variety drama 2 and Oujisama (warai) IF ~Oujisama Gakuen~ will go on sale on 2012.01.25, but both will be available beforehand at the winter Comiket.

For those who have bought both the first vacation CD and the second vacation CD (the variety drama's, they shouldn't change the titles, it is confusing): a special CD called 'Hadaka no Oujisama' will be gisfted as a bonus if you send the special coupons found on both CD to frontier works. (I have no idea whether this will also work for those living outside of Japan). Thanks to Annadiel for pointing this out!!

Kannou Mukashi Banashi
The staff just posted a picture of the Kannou CD box on their blog. It looks like besides the first 6CD's (the box is for the first season, meaning the first 6CD's) a seventh CD which includes a story for Puss in Boots. Which is kind of strange considering that the cover of the box is from Bluebeard. Let's just hope the box holds more surprises.

Another blog post mentions a limited edition drama CD that will be sold at 5pb's "Otome Carnival": a dramatized version of how Kannou Mukashi banashi came to be (if I'm understanding this right, the announcement has me majorly confused). A version of 'the ugly duckling', done by 10(!) seiyuu will also be read live.

La Storia della Arcana Famiglia
The release list on frontier works their homepage lists a drama CD for Arcana Famiglia titled  アルカナ・ファミリア」capitolo 1 ~アーレ! ノヴィーツィア! 頑張れ新米幹部~ (Arcana Famiglia capitulo 1 ~Ale! Novicia! Ganbare shinmai kanbu!~) to be released on 2012.01.25


Are you Alice? - All in the Golden Afternoon

Are you Alice? - All in the Golden Afternoon

Company: IM Label
Based on: Original
Released: 2011.04.07
Official Site: http://imlabel.jp/alice/

In Are you Alice a male Alice wanders into wonderland and is subsequently involved in 'the game to kill the white rabbit'. Alice his story is told in three drama CDs - Drink me, Check Mate, and Call me- but there are several expansions to the story. This was released with the limited edition of the Are you Alice? PSP game.

The characters start with re-introducing themselves and their setting in the story. Alice (CV: Sakurai Takahiro), the Mad Hatter (CV: Hirata Hiroaki), the Cheshire Cat (CV: Inoue Kazuhiko), the White Rabbit (CV: Morikubo Shoutarou), all tell their setting and some of their feelings.

After that all of them start arguing a bit about their respective setting and personalities. And thus the arguing escalates xD And is it me, or does Alice make a Makai Senki Disgaea style announcement for a so called next time? (even the music seems to match)

The switch between a serious introduction and the random conversations feels a bit off this time. Usually they effectively cancel out the seriousness, but here it just somehow goes from serious into Alice style randomness, and then suddenly changes back in a weird way. Also, I think they used the background music from the game, which is slightly different from the music used in the drama CD's.

It is hard to say about my favourite series, but I didn't like this work very much. There isn't anything new. It is always nice to hear the cast go about in their usual ways. But compared to other works (even shorter ones) this one simply doesn't really cut it.


Tales of Symphonia: Rodeo Ride Tour vol.1

テイルズ オブ シンフォニア 〜ロデオライド・ツアー〜  上巻

Company: Frontier Works
Based on: Game
Released: 2005.05.25

Rodeo Ride Tour is a story that takes place after the events of Tales of Symphonia, and centres on Sheena (CV: Okamura Akemi) and Zelos (CV: Onosaka Masaya). Due to Zelos his life possibly being in danger because he has become the taget of a terrorist organisation, the two of them travel around the world to avoid danger and possibly draw out the attackers.

Due to this story taking place after the events of Tales of Symphonia, it is of course best if you know the entire story before listening to this.

The different tracks on the CD are loosely connected episodes in Sheena and Zelos their travels, and two short tracks in which Sheena tells about two different happenings in a narrative way. (one in which they buy rings while completely drunk, and one about a sunset. I especially liked the sunset one).

While the first few tracks have Sheena and Zelos act in their usual way, fifth track is very different. Sheena is down due to being poisoned during battle, and Zelos is taking care of her. This track shows a very different side of their relation to each other, and is one of the most beautiful scenes between them that I know of.

In the final 2 tracks the mood is lightened however. While visiting Altamira Amusement Park the two re-unite with Regal (CV: Ootsuka Akio), who tells them that the park isn't doing to well. And thus they come up with a plan to raise the popularity of the park: an action hero show with Regal as the hero...

As you can guess, this CD is a Sheena x Zelos festival. So if you're not a fan of the pairing there is no real point in listening to it. The story is ok, but mainly centres on the relationship between Sheena and Zelos and doesn't really add anything to the overall Tales of Symphonia story/world. If you are a fan this is definitely something for you though.


One Year Already

Granted, I've been on a one-and-a-half month Hiatus, but this blog has been around for over a year already!

The first review was actually posted on the 20th of August 2010. The way I did my reviews was pretty different at the time (I think?). Less structured an whatnot. The format has changed a little bit, like how I first posted the romanized title as post title, then switched to Japanese, and then switched back again because it made no sense to have Japanese blogpost titles when I'm reviewing for an English speaking audience (^-^;;)

At some point the weekly news post arrived, because posting all the news in sepparate posts simply flooded the blog. and I had to limit the tags on the right side of the page to just seiyuu names because the list would get endless if I didn't. Posts have been going from randomly timed, to almost daily, to random again, to (for now) daily again. And so on, and so forth.

One thing for which this is an interesting opportunity is analysing stats. Yes. You see, blogger has this nifty feature that keeps track of all kinds of things. Like how many people visit your blog and which posts are read most, and so on. And the results are.... interesting xD


Mousou Esthe II


Company: 5pb
Based on: original
Released: 2010.12.22
Official Site: http://5pb.jp/moso

Mousou Este is a combination between a drama CD and virtual beauty treatments. You hear the staff of the fictional beauty salon 'Etreinte" talk among each other, and between that there are beauty treatments by one of the staff. The treatment tracks have been recorded with the dummy head microphone, so be prepared to hear them whisper into your ear.

This time the CD starts with Kagami Subaru (CV: Suwabe Junichi) as guest in a radio show, where he introduces his beauty salon. The hostess of the show seems very charmed by him. The next track is back at the salon, where Kagami, Maya Shinnosuke (CV: Taniyama Kisho) and Misaki (CV: Yusa Kouji) are talking about the radio show and... comparing their hands. But the way they keep talking about 'who has the largest' directed my mind in a whoooole other direction.

Back to the order of the day, it is time for Misaki his treatment. He gives you a face massage, although the wording, while describing exactly what he is doing, can still put your mind on other things. The same goes for Shinnosuke his treatment afterwards. Both their voices are so relaxing that my mind simply drifted off and their voices just floated around me, while I completely forgot that they were actually saying something.

In the next scene Odagiri Eito (CV: Terashima Takuma) is worried because this will be the first time to actually give a treatment to a customer. The rest somewhat tries to comfort and tease him at the same time. His treatment is a footmassage, but he talks a bit too much for my tastes (can't help it, he is nervous after all). His comment that this 'is the first time for both of you' made me laugh though. However I remained giggly for the rest of the CD, so whether that is actually a good thing. Anyway, he is a really pure and cute character.

After Eito is finished the rest also enters the room to give you a special treatment. I find it hard to imagine 4 estheticians working at the same time, but their various voices together are highly lethal for sure.

I have to say, this series has a way with words. While they really are just talking about the treatments my mind is definitely thinking of entirely different things. That aside, I fell asleep multiple times while trying to listen to this CD, especially during the first half.

The characters are less quirky than in the first CD, except for the parakeet Noel (CV: Hatano Wataru) who returns in this instalment as well. This made the day to day conversations of the staff a little less interesting, but at the same time they are less noisy than last time, avoiding the 'wake-up call' issue.

The focus definitely shifted a bit more from relaxation to adding a little ero in here, but they did it in a good way and if you don't want to hear it you can simply ignore it. Above all else it is still very relaxing to listen to. My only problem was that I'm not very knowledgeable about how various parts of your body are called, so at times I wasn't quite sure what they were doing to me exactly (yes yes, you're massaging my head, but how exactly... xD)


Inoue Kazuhiko no Iyashi Kou ~Nemuri Hime~

井上和彦の癒し香 ~眠り姫~

Company: B-Box (?)
Based on: Original
Released: 2010.04.23

Inoue Kazuhiko no Iyashi Kou consist of two CDs,"nemuri made no koi jikan" and "nemuri hime". Both are designed to make you relax and softly put you to sleep. And I must say, that at least this one is  quite effective.

Nemurihime has two parts, a talking part and a song. For the talking part Inoue-san comes to pick you up in his car to take you on a drive. The background music is entirely done with the sound of deep sounding bells and crystal balls (that give a higher chime) and sometimes sounds like flowing water and is very relaxing. Together with Inoue-san his almost soothing voice it doesn't take long before you can relax and imagine the scenery.

What I find special about this CD is how relatively little text there is. The only text is when it is necessary and is spoken with a lot of emotion. The descriptions you get are just enough to make you form an image, but you are free to shape that to your imagination.

The song is pretty ok, a bit generic maybe, but after I drifted off while listening to the first track it actually woke me more than it made me fall asleep (^-^;;)

I find it perfect for relaxing, although I prefer to listen only to the talk part. This is best to listen to when you are already in bed or comfortable on the couch, because the danger of falling asleep, or at least drifting off, is definitely there.

Oh, and. It is Inoue Kazuhiko taking you on a date. That alone is a major reason to listen to it.


Shuukan Soine App

Because someone asked me to, here is an explanation of how the Shuukan Soine App for the iPhone works, complete with pictures!

EDIT: By now the entire app has been translated, including subs for all the things the charaters say, so this guide has become obsolete. I'll keep it on the site as a sort of awkward review though (^-^)

When you open the app you are greeted by the above screen. Slide the screen left or right to switch between the characters. I will use Kakeru for the rest of this explanation. Tap anywhere on the screen to go to talk mode:

This is talk mode. Click on the upper left button to make him talk to you. The upper right button takes you to Soine mode, which simply means that the image changes to a close up of Kakeru. The lower right button takes you back to the first screen.

And this is what Soine mode looks like. Like before, the left button is for making Kakeru speak and the right one takes you back to talk mode.

Now, for the rest of the functions. The start screen has 4 buttons. The 1st one on the left takes you to the options for the alarm, which looks like the screen on the right here. The first option is alarm of on/of, with the second one you can set the time.

The third option lets you choose whether you want the voice for the alarm on or off (why would you want to switch that off? xD) and the fourth option lets you choose which voice you want. For the time being both Kakeru and Jin have two options.

The fifth option allows you to set whether the alarm will go into snooze mode, with the sixth option allowing you to choose after how many minutes it should repeat. But like I'll explain in a moment, these options are mostly useless for now. The final option is vibration on or off. I recommend off.

Now, as for why the snooze option is mostly useless: The alarm function doesn't work in sleep mode. Meaning that as soon as your screen switches off it no longer works, meaning that if you want it to work you need to set the setting of your iPhone so that it won't go into sleep mode, which drains you battery like mad. But I suppose it could work that way. Personally I really hope that they will fix this in a future update.

And this is what the wake up screen for the two of them looks like. I faint right after looking at it making the entire alarm option useless because I end up in coma, but hey. I don't own an iPad, but I bet they are deadly on that resolution (*o*)

The second button from the left on the main screen takes you to the 'hitsuji room' where you can buy more voices for the characters. If you buy more voices new sentences will be added to talk and soine mode, as well as new alarm voices.

Personally I'm having problems buying the extra voices (yes, I tried to. Sue me xD). When I try to but them the app says "you need to buy the app first before you can buy extra contents" (=____=) Does anyone else have this problem? It works now.

ps: the reason why the screen says that the extra voices cost 1.59yen is because that is really supposed to euro's but for some reason it shows the yen sign xD

The third option in the main screen takes you to a list of all the sentences you boyfriend has said to you, and you can select them from the list to hear them. So far there are 60 lines for each character. I don't know whether you can get all 60 without buying the extra lines, someone let me know if someone gets more lines without buying the add ons :D

And finally, the fourth option takes you to the animate website, where you can buy the CDs xD

There, I think that was everything? If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!! (^-^)

Reader Song ~Love Letter 2~

Reader Song ~Love Letter 2~

Company: Voicing
Based on: Song Lyrics
Released: 2011.09.09
Official Site www.voicing.biz/readersong/

Reader Song takes well known western songs, and has popular seiyuu reading the lyrics to you. I specifically mean reading, they do not sing. Instead they slowly read them to acoustic versions of the songs.

The Seiyuu are exactly the same as in the first vol, however they have fairly different songs this time (except for Kishio Daisuke, who gets another Backstreet Boys song xD). The tracklist this time is as follows:

01. I need you / Maurice White (Namikawa Daisuke)
02. Sailing / Rod Steward(Kiuchi Hidenobu)
03. Scarborough fair (Inoue Kazuhiko)
04. Get out of my life / Lady Lily (Sakurai Takahiro)
05. Shape of my heart / Backstreet Boys (Kishio Daisuke)
06. Aloha oe (Hayami Shou)
07. Even the nights are better / Air Supply (Fujiwara Keiji)
08. Don't answer me / The Allan Parson Project (Ishida Akira)
09. You and I / Matt Bianco (Okiayu Ryoutarou)
10. Back at one / Brian McKnight (Tsuda Kenjirou)

Like the first CD, the instrumentals are beautiful. Actually, almost everything is still the same. The good points, and the fact that this still works best with calm songs. Although I think the tracklist this time is a bit better in that aspect.

I especially love the music from track 2. So nice, and it somehow really gives you an idea of a ship of the waves. My personal favourite is "Get out of my life". While the original song is more about being strong enough to overcome a heartbreak, Sakurai brings it so sad and heart-wrenching (especially somewhere halfway through) that it almost made me tear up.

Scaraborough Fair on the other hand was a slight disappointment. Inoue-san his voice is as beautiful as ever, however the constant repeating of the words "parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme" simply doesn't work when the text is spoken. And that while it can be so beautiful when sung.

This is mostly just more of the same, but that isn't a bad thing. (and to be fair, the two CDs were released at the same time). Another great CD to listen to while you just sit down and relax. And again, the cover image is just so cute!! (>w<)


Weekly News Post

Just because I can, this post is made on 11.11.11 at 11:11 xD

IM Label
is planning something new. This year their 1 coin series will end, however starting next year they will start with "IM crcl"(pronounciation: IM kurakura). crcl is short for 'craft x clown', but what that is supposed to mean...

not really news, but I have some more info on vol.2 of Amemakura. I said you and your boyfriend were on vacation on an island when the rain comes pouring down (see previous news post for more info), but more specifically you are visiting 'Gunkanjima'. This is an island about 15km from Nagasaki that used to be a coal mine, but is now more like a ghost town. It is a touristic attraction nowadays and you can visit in on a tour (walking around by yourself isn't allowed for safety reasons).

Actually called Hashima, the island it's nickname 'gunkanjima' comes from the fact that it looks like a battleship. Or so the text that I had to translate in class today told me. The world is a small place sometimes...

Honeymoon vol.2
More info on Honeymoon vol.2! To begin with, the lovely cover to the right. The official site describes Kousaka Otoya (CV Toriumi Kousuke) as "sexy and ore-sama type" but Toriumi-san describes him as "cool". Hmmm. He also mention that he had a very hard time finding a balance between acting cool and sweet towards 'his girlfriend' (meaning you, the listener) feeling that he couldn't act too cool, but that he should get too sweet either.

From the rest of the cast interview there are two more bits of interesting info: apparently Kousaka doesn't give the impression to be very nice to others, but is very sweet to his girlfriend/fiancée/you, and there is a scene in which you almost drown, eep!


Are you Alice? - Make a name for oneself

Are you Alice? - Make a name for oneself

Company: IM Label
Based on: Original
Released: 2011.09.23
Official Site: http://imlabel.jp/alice/

In Are you Alice a male Alice wanders into wonderland and is subsequently involved in 'the game to kill the white rabbit'. Alice his story is told in three drama CDs - Drink me, Check Mate, and Call me- but there are several expansions to the story. This is part IM Label their one coin series, and has absolutely nothing to do with the actual story.

Make a name for oneself begins with Alice talking serious about how he ended up in the game to kill the white rabbit, only to declare that they will ignore the entire setting this time and even going as far as to do a bit of advertising for the original 3 drama CD's. This is how I know the series.

Then we are treated to a moment of wonderful silence at the Hatter mansion (no seriously, it is somehow hilarious) and we return the the usual menu of arguing between Alice and the Hatter. This time about the name 'the mad hatter', the Hatter suddenly realizes that it is pure badmouthing, and that he isn't even a hatter so that it makes no sense. And thus they decide to think of a nickname for the Hatter...

The constant switching between dramatic music and complete nonsense makes this one of the best short episodes yet. Also... I think I'm going to call the Hatter "Hatchan" from now on xD


Fujoshi no Totsugikata


Company: Motto! Entertainment.
Based on: Fujoshi?
Released: 2011.09.22

Fujoshi no totsugu kata (How to marry when you're a fujoshi) is a CD for all the fujoshi in the world,  Whether you are into BL or a game otaku. The concept of the CD is that you have been proposed to, but you haven't told your boyfriend that you are a fujoshi yet. Just as you're wondering what to do 5 butlers appear and claim that they want to help you.

The first track introduces all of the characters, and each one of them has a different approach as to what to do. Depending on what you want to do you can go to a specific track. Or listen to all of them of course. In each track one butler takes the lead, while all of them discuss on what to do. The choices are as follows:

track 2: hide that you are a fujoshi (Aoi Ryuuji)
track 3: you're not sure whether this is true love (Kikawa Miki)
track 4: admit that you are a fujoshi (Midoriyama Shion)
track 5: convince your husband to become a fudanshi (Akagi Eiichi)
track 6: give up being a fujoshi (Kurosaki Goro)

The first choice is to hide the fact that you are a fujoshi, but continue being one. Aoi Ryuuji (CV: Toriumi Kousuke) is the one to guide you in this. The solutions that he offers are actually quite possible. So everyone looking to hide their fujoshi side, give it a listen xD I had to laugh so hard at the remark of making game related comments while cutting onions, and the training on how what to answer in difficult situations.

The second option is that doubting whether you want to give up being a fujoshi probably means that this is not true love, so you decide not to marry. Your butler this time is Kikawa Miki (CV: Ishida Akira) who describes himself as a "younger brother / puppy" type. This was my least favorite track personally. Note the references to Shuukan Soine and Hitsuji de Oyasumi.

The next choice is to confess that you are a fujoshi, and in this you are guided by Midoriyama Shion (CV: Okiayu Ryoutarou). His reactions and voice are so wonderfully over dramatic. One of the best things about the track is that the first part takes place in your...bathroom. That and some of the solutions to possible problems are hilarious.

The next choice is not only confessing that you are a fujoshi, but going so far as to turn your husband into a fudanshi. The hotheaded Akagi Eichi (CV: Sakurai Takahiro) is the one to guide you in this. Some blatant karami jokes are made here, and most of the solutions are unrealistic but it is hilarious. It is sad that the track is so short compared to the rest. (Also, Prince of Tennis and Lupin the 3rd references)

The last option is giving up being a fujoshi all together, and the sadistic butler Kurosaki Goro (CV: Yusa Kouji) is the one to train and torture you to get so far. But in the end he too shows compassion, saying that doing this for love is admirable but that you should also think about yourself and being a fujoshi is part of who you are. And you can't miss it, but they use the famous line from Kuroshitsuji here. As well as making a tokusatsu (think power rangers) parody.

Finally, after all problems have been solved, the elusive white butler Goshirakawa (CV: Kondo Takeshi) turns up... and is first turned into a punch bag due to a slight misunderstanding. More parodies on tokusatsu follow. The final track has all of the butlers say one last (cliché) line to you before they leave.

This is one of the most hilarious CD's that I've listened to lately. The seiyuu were clearly having fun recording this, which makes it a lot of fun to listen to. All of the references to various games, manga, anime, novels, and whatmore make it all the more enjoyable, though I'm sure I've missed half of them.

You don't have to be a fujoshi to enjoy this, though you'll need to understand fujoshi/otaku life a bit for it to have to maximum effect. It is a hilarious work for everyone and if you get the chance you should definitely listen to it.


Osananajimi no Kare ~Kuro Route~

幼馴染の彼 黒ルート

Company: Stellaworth
Based on: Original
Released: 2011.10.01

This is an original CD by Stellaworth (a webshop for everything otome) so only available through their own shop. Osananajimi no Kare (Osananajimi is a chilhood friend) are two CDs that start the same but take a different turn. In the 'white' route everything is cute and sweet, while in the 'black' route he turns quite jealous...

...and stalker-ish. Just like in the white route you meet your childhood friend on your way home and you decide go home together (he is still your neighbour after all). Only this time you decide to answer the phone call you get. It turns out that it was a call from someone in your circle at university (a circle is a group of people that are involved in a certain activity. In this case, you've joined a travelling circle, ie, one that organizes all kinds of trips). The guy who called you invited you to a bbq the next day. But that means you can't go on a date with your childhood friend. No worries though, he simply invites you to his room that evening.

still, no sign of a darker side though. He seems exactly the same like in the white route. Ok, this time he takes out the letters you wrote as a child to tease you, but it is just teasing. While you try to snatch the letters away from him the two of you fall over on the bed, and just when he tries to say something important you are once again interrupted by a phone call.

And that is where things go wrong. It turns out that he knows exactly what you buy at the convenience store every morning when you go to school, and has pictures of you on the train, at college, while shopping... turns out his love has become quite obsessive. He even becomes rather possessive, not wanting to let you leave, but you manage to get away unharmed.

The next day however he phones you. It starts as a normal apology, but after that it turns obsessive again, and when you try to cut he just keeps and keeps calling. And when you come back from doing the groceries the day after that he suddenly turns up in your room. You think it safe to drink tea with him but that wasn't the best decision as it turns out...

At one point I was wondering how this was going to turn into a 'black' route. In the beginning he seemed to be exactly the same after all, but after the switch there was no doubt about it being the black route. Yandere.... all the way. And it doesn't end well. Still no very explicit descriptions, but there is no fade out, you get to live through all of it.

What I found particularity confronting is how his personality switches. He starts normal of course, but when he turns yandere he doesn't remain 'full yandere' all the time. At times he suddenly retreats and apologizes, only to go yandere again and make things even worse. I'm used to characters being evil, but this kind of emotional instability does a good job of getting you scared.

While the white route is completely cute and recommended for everyone, this should probably be treated with a little more caution. If you're not into yandere you might want to stay away from it. No, if your not into yandere you should stay away from it. In fact, it is probably as bad as Yandere Heaven, and that is saying something. For me on the other hand, this was a nice surprise.


Dracula ~Futari no Kyuuketsuki~


Company: Momo&Grape
Based on: Dracula (the novel by Bram Stoker)
Released: 2011.08.12
Official Site: http://www.momogre.com/

Dracula is a character we all know, whether from the actual novel or simply as the main representive vampire we all know him. This story is based on the original novel, although it takes a lot of liberties with the story.

The story starts with Alexander (CV: Ono Daisuke) and van Hellsing (CV: Nakai Kazuya) taking down a vampire underling. It turns out they were searching for Vlad Dracula (CV: Nakamura Yuuichi) who was rumoured to come to London to find the reincarnation of his long lost love.

Believing that his love from 400 years ago is reborn, Dracula searches for Mina Marley (CV: Hanazawa Kana) to take her back to Transylvania. Despite Alexander and van Hellsing their attempts to stop him Dracula manages to kidnap Mina. Alexander and van Hellsing follow them back to Transylvania, and it comes to one last showdown in Dracula his castle...

Like I said, they took some liberties with the story. To be more exact they added Alexander his character as Dracula his younger brother. The story between Alexander and Dracula gives both a more human side. They might have strayed quite a bit from the original story, but I liked this story a lot.

The music definitely added to the entire atmosphere. At times very sad, but epic during the battles, if you pay attention to it you'll see it is really well written. The tokuten CD you got from pre-ordering it also includes a really beautiful instrumental track.. The sound effects too where really good, to the point of making me flinch when someone got hit by a sword because it makes such a horrible fleshy sound.

From the voice actors I loves Hanazawa-san her performance best. Her Mina is both sweet and shows that she can stand up to Dracula. I would have loved to hear her more. The only one I had problems with is Nakai Kazuya as van Hellsing. His performance was very good, that is not the point, but somehow his voice doesn't fit my image of van Hellsing (and, dear Momo&Grape. van Hellsing was a doctor, not an archaeologist)

The story is somewhere between an adaption of the novel and an original Dracula story, but either way it is very good. It is not as scary as Blue Beard was, but still sufficiently spooky. The voice actors did a great job in bringing this story to life (pun not intended), and it is definitely worth a listen. Especially on a dark and preferably stormy night.


Ouritsu Ouji Gakuen vol.1: The Prince of Cinderella

王立王子学園 vol.1 シンデレラの王子様

Company: R45°project
Based on: Fairytales x School life
Released: 2011.09.15
Official Site: http://rpgakuen.com/

Ouritsu Ouji Gakuen (Royal Prince Gakuen, RPG for short) is a school where princes go in preparation of their future career as royalty. That means normal lessons, but also stuff like dancing lessons and other things you might need as royalty. Other than the fact that the entire student body are royal princes, it is a very normal school.

In this series you both spend time together with your main prince, as well as with multiple characters. Each CD features three princes, and you get to spend some quality time together with the 'main prince' as well as some -often funny- lively moments with all three.

This first vol. centres on Haibara Kouki (CV: Sakurai Takahiro) who represents the prince from Cinderella (the 'hai' in Haibara also means 'ash'). He has a very kind personality, and when you just arrive as transfer student he takes good care of you, showing you were everything is and explaining all kinds of things, even going as far as picking you up to go to school together.

It is obvious Haibara likes you, but he seems a bit hesitant at times. You've apparently met when you were both young, but you seems to have forgotten all about it, and Haibara is simply afraid that he will lose you again. And it seems like he doesn't remember everything himself as well, because when he finds a single shoe lying at the bottom of the stairs he has one of the weirdest reactions ever (causing many amusing comments from the other two princes Shirose Yukito (CV: Toriumi Kousuke) and Hiiragi Motochika (CV Kaji Yuuki).

The other two princes seem to like you as well. It feels a bit strange as the first time that they appear in a scene them they already cling to you, while there seems to be no prior contact. On the other hand, you are all classmates, so let's just assume you interacted with them there.

Haibara is a bit quick with clinging to you, but on the other hand you seem to be his first love from his childhood, so let's just forgive him that. Like I said he has a very kind and caring personality, but he also seems to missing the vital point at times, making him adorkable. The other two also have amusing personalities, Shirose is cold but pure hearted, and Hiiragi is very my-pace but can say the meanest things with a smile. The interaction between the three of them is very amusing to listen to.

The cast talk isn't very special. Apparently Sakurai kept mispronouncing things at the part where he goes into shoe-mania mode, but other than that it was a very generic talk.

The balance between the moments alone and with all three seems a bit off to me, but overall it was pretty nice. Although I like the parts where the three princes interact more than the moments with Haibara alone. Those are so pink and sugar coated that they might induce caries. And as much as I love Sakurai, these situation CDs don't seem to be his forte.


Reader Song ~Love Letter 1~

Reader Song ~Love Letter 1~

Company: Voicing
Based on: Song Lyrics
Released: 2011.09.09
Official Site www.voicing.biz/readersong/

Reader Song takes well known western songs, and has popular seiyuu reading the lyrics to you. I specifically mean reading, they do not sing. Instead they slowly read them to acoustic versions of the songs.

Both the tracklist and cast can be considered superb. For me personally some of the songs were unexpected, I can think of various songs that are probably more famous, then again I don't know which songs were popular in Japan, and maybe they choose the tracklist based on that. Speaking of the tracklist, here it is:

01. Lost in love/ Air Supply  (Fujiwara Keiji)
02. The One / Backstreet Boys (Kishio Daisuke)
03. Sky high /Jigsaw (Tsuda Kenjirou)
04. Baby I love your way / Peter Frampton (Ishida Akira)
05. Sugar town / Nancy Sinatra (Hayami Shou)
06. A song for you / Leon Russel (Namikawa Daisuke)
07. Smoke gets in your eyes / The Platters (Inoue Kazuhiko)
08. Beautiful dreamer / Stephan Foster (Okiayu Ryoutarou)
09. Londonderry air (Sakurai Takahiro)
10. You are so beautiful / Joe Cocker (Kiuchi Hidenobu)

I put the name of Seiyuu reading the lyrics behind the track titles. Oh, and Londonderry Air is a folk song and it's origins are a bit vague, so no idea who I should list as the artist.

The entire concept works pretty nice. The acoustic versions of the songs are so beautiful I almost wished that they had included them without vocals as well. But I do feel that this works better with calm songs, as that feels more natural. Another thing that I noticed is that while it is very common for lyrics to be repeated in songs, that it often feels unnatural when someone is talking.

It is very interesting  to see how the lyrics were translated. It seems like they were aiming more for the intended meaning than a literal one, as some lyrics have been translated notably differently. To name a good example "I'll be the one" is translated as "boku ga iru yo (I am here)". While the actual words are very different, the meaning can be interpreted as the same. If you see them as "I'll be the one [for you]" and "I'll be here [for you]" they convey a similar meaning.

They probably also tried to make them slightly more suitable as a narrative, and possibly also added a bit of romance. Comparing these translations would undoubtedly make for a very interesting study, but unfortunately I don't have the time to do so (; __ ;)

This is a very relaxing CD to listen to. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, nestle yourself on the couch or your bed and enjoy. My persona favourites were 'a song for you' 'Londonderry air' and 'You are so beautiful', although that might also have something to do with their seiyuu (cough*Sakurai!*cough). Oh and, the cover image is  so cute (>w<)


Weekly News Post

As you can see we've got a new, winter themed, layout! Maybe it is a little early to start with the snow crystals, but I like it xD  And now on to the rest of the news!!

Shuukan Soine
The cover image and voice sample for vol.11 (CV: Fukuyama Jun) has been uploaded on the official site, so go and listen if your curious! (note: depending on your connection the voice sample may take a while to load).

And the details page for vol. 12 (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru) is finally open too and has the cover illustration as well. And I have to say, it looks gorgeous! -EDIT- the preview voice has been uploaded as well. And I...I...I think I'm going to faint. Don't fade out with kissing sounds and rustling of the sheets!!! It makes me lose to much blood...!

Oujisama (warai) series
A new Oujisama (warai) drama CD is in the works!! 王子様(笑)シリーズ ドラマCD if ~王子様(笑)学園~ (Oujisama (warai) series drama CD if ~oujisama (warai) Gakuen~ will be released during the winter Comiket (2011.12.29).

Not much info is available yet, but from the title we can guess that this is going to be a "what if all the princes would be students at the same school" type of story. According to the official site all 9 princes + the servant (Takemoto Eiji) will be featured on the CD. I predict chaos! :D

Looking back at the webcomic, I now notice this was actually foreshadowed... there are 2 webcomics named oujisama (warai) gakuen (^-^;;)


Are you Alice? - Fork it over

Are you Alice? - Fork it over.

Company: IM Label
Based on: Original
Released: 2011.??.??

In Are you Alice a male Alice wanders into wonderland and is subsequently involved in 'the game to kill the white rabbit'. Alice his story is told in three drama CDs - Drink me, Check Mate, and Call me- but there are several expansions to the story. This is one of the side dramas for Are you Alice? that came with the limited edition of one of the novels.

The Queen of Hearts is bored, and therefore decides that Jack (who was allowed to speak only 10 syllables in 10 years) is suddenly allowed to speak again. On one condition; when the Queen is present he may only say funny things.

Because Jack isn't very funny on his own, it is then decided that he should form a manzai combi with Alice. Neither one wants to do this, but when the Queen mentions that manzai comedians are popular with the ladies lately Alice is suddenly motivated to give his all.

Hearing Jack again after a while was a lot of fun. The -absolutely horrible- manzai skits he does with Alice are pretty funny as well (simply because they are that bad). But the best part was the Hatter who suddenly turns out to be a master at tsukkomi.

While the randomness and sillyness gets mos of the attention, a few more serious remarks are made, especially by the Queen, making me wonder what is going to happen next in the world of Are you Alice?.  Besides that this is a wonderfully random side drama, well worth listening for a laugh if you know the series.


Warumono (warai) series: Wataru Sekai wa Oni Darake

わるもの(笑)シリーズ 渡る世間は鬼だらけ

Company: Frontierworks
Based on: Japanese folklore
Released: 2011.09.22
Official Site: http://www.fwinc.co.jp/www/

After the Oujisama (warai) and Meisaku Bungaku (warai) series we now also have the Warumono (warai) series. This time the so called 'bad guys' are in the spotlight, and this first vol. starts with the Oni (demons) from various stories.

The Aka-Oni (from Momotarou, CV: Fujiwara Keiji), Ki-Oni (from Issun Boushi, CV: Okiayu Ryoutarou) and Ao-Oni (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki) are meeting at a karaoke bar to hang out. Apparently the've booked some kind of special arrangement where they can play the handheld game "Momotarou Quest 2" for some time (instead of actually doing Karaoke xD)

The Aka-Oni thinks it is absurd that they are playing a game in which they have to try and beat themselves, but the others seem fine with it. From here on the story switches between one of the demons telling his story about how it actually happened (as opposed to the legend) and the three of them sitting in the karaoke bar, sometimes joined by one of the employees (CV: Sakurai Takahiro, who also voices all of the heroes btw).

The Aka-Oni his story is that they never took any gold, and that the village was simply enjoying slow-life when Momotarou came barging in and demanding gold, the Ki-Oni his story is that he and Issun Boushi were actually friends who fell in love with the same girl, the Ao-Oni tells how his attempt to convince people that Oni don't eat children backfired.

The original folklore stories are twisted brilliantly, as expected from the series. Like Fujiwara-san explains in the cast talk, the aim is not to make you cry with laughter, but to make you smile every few minutes, so don't expect any extremely funny moments but in overall it is very amusing. Some of the things I loved were the reference to Urusei Yatsura and when they are talking about how Oni are different from humans (as they look almost the same) and that they conclude that Oni are simply extremely weak.

Another nice touch is the final track, where the employee returns to the staff room and is talking with a colleague. As it turns out he might not be just a normal employee...

The cast talk was pretty funny. Sakurai and Fujiwara-san their part is semi-serious, but Konishi-san and Okiayu-san mostly go on about how they want "Momotarou Quest" to become an actual game xD Interestingly enough, they mention that there might be another with all of the Oni. But no details on whether that are just speculations or that there are actually plans for more entries to the warumono (warai) series...

Another nice work by the people behind the warai series. Like I said, no laughing out loud, but it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. That is all there is to say really (^-^;;)


Osananajimi no Kare ~Shiro Route~

It is November 1st and that means that our normal almost-daily posting schedule will resume! Midterms are over, I've got time to catch up on all of the reading I still have to do, And most importantly, I've missed listening to and reviewing drama CD's so much that I just have to resume by now. (Actually, we already started yesterday, because it just felt appropriate to post the review of a Halloween themed work on Halloween xD

幼馴染の彼 白ルート

Company: Stellaworth
Based on: Original
Released: 2011.10.01

This is an original CD by Stellaworth (a webshop for everything otome) so only available through their own shop. Osananajimi no Kare (Osananajimi is a childhood friend) are two CDs that start the same but take a different turn. In the 'white' route everything is cute and sweet, while in the 'black' route he turns quite jealous...

But this is the white route. When you meet your childhood friend on your way home and you decide go home together (he is your neighbour after all). You get a phone call on the way home but decide to ignore it. After some awkwardness you agree to go on a date the next day.

The two of you go to a riverside that you used to visit when you were in high school (both of you are in college now). A lot of reminiscing about all kinds of things from when you were young ensues. I like the scene where he suddenly carries you around, somehow it was very cute. That, and I like the sound they use when you hit him xD

Like I mentioned before you're neighbours, and apparently your bedroom windows are opposite of each other, and the balcony close enough to step from one onto the other (so much cliché, I love it). So that night he (I hate it when someone doesn't have a name xD) comes over to talk. What follows are a love confession and a very sudden sleep over.

The last track is some very cute pillow talk. Interestingly enough he mentions a few things (that he kept all the, rather embarrassing, letters you wrote as a child for example) that are used again in the black route.

Like the title implies, this is a completely sweet and cute story. Although, things are getting pretty intimate during your little sleepover (luckily the track fades out at the right moment). I liked the CD, the childhood friend setting is pretty cliché, but somehow it never loses it's charm. Although, I do wonder where someone who only had eyes for you his entire life gets the experience to... ah well, details xD

A very cute CD. It's pretty short too, only about 30min, so perfect to listen to as a snack (I am now comparing drama CD's with food, great xD). If you want to listen to the 'black' route one as well I recommend listening to this one first. The pacing feels a bit better and some things are explained a bit better in my opinion. But if you don't feel like listening to the other one, this is a perfect standalone story as well.